Grosses

'The Equalizer' Impresses with $34.1M Start; 'The Maze Runner' Holds Up Well with $17.4M; 'The Boxtrolls' Debuts in Third with Very Solid $17.3MSeptember 29, 2014 01:07 PM

by Daniel Garris

Sony's The Equalizer debuted in first place this weekend with a strong start of $34.14 million. The action thriller starring Denzel Washington debuted towards the higher end of pre-release expectations, which were lofty, especially for the month of September. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, The Equalizer delivered the fourth largest opening weekend ever for the month of September (behind only 2012's Hotel Transylvania, 2013's Insidious Chapter 2 and 2002's Sweet Home Alabama). The film's debut represented the third largest opening weekend performance ever for Washington (behind only 2007's American Gangster and 2012's Safe House). The Equalizer opened 4 percent stronger than the $32.79 million start of 2010's The Book of Eli and 15 percent below the $40.17 million start of Safe House.

The Equalizer opened with $12.49 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.5 million from Thursday night shows), increased 8 percent on Saturday to gross $13.49 million and declined 40 percent on Sunday to take in $8.15 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.73 to 1. The audience breakdown for the film skewed slightly towards male moviegoers (52 percent) and towards moviegoers 30 years and older (65 percent). The Equalizer received an A- rating on CinemaScore, which is an encouraging sign for the film going forward.

The Maze Runner placed in second with $17.44 million. The young adult adaptation from Fox held up relatively well this weekend, as it was down 46 percent from last weekend's strong start. The Maze Runner has grossed $57.96 million in ten days and continues to display strong early holding power for a young adult adaptation. Thanks in part to a significantly stronger second weekend hold, The Maze Runner is now running 32 percent ahead of the $44.01 million ten-day take of last year's Ender's Game and is already on the verge of reaching the $61.74 million final domestic gross of Ender's Game.

The Boxtrolls was off to a very solid third place start this weekend with $17.28 million. The latest 3D stop motion animated film from Focus and Laika debuted a bit above pre-release expectations. Compared to previous films from Focus and Laika, The Boxtrolls opened 23 percent ahead of the $14.09 million start of 2012's ParaNorman and a slim 3 percent ahead of the $16.85 million start of 2009's Coraline. ParaNorman and Coraline both displayed terrific holding power and going forward The Boxtrolls will hope to accomplish the same.

The Boxtrolls opened with $4.93 million on Friday, increased a strong 51 percent on Saturday to gross $7.46 million and declined 34.5 percent on Sunday to gross $4.89 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.51 to 1. The audience breakdown for the film skewered towards female moviegoers (57 percent). The Boxtrolls received a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore.

Warner's This Is Where I Leave You placed in fourth with $6.89 million. The modestly budgeted comedy starring Jason Bateman and Tina Fey held up well this weekend, as it was down 40 percent from last weekend's so-so start. This Is Where I Leave You has grossed $22.44 million in ten days. That places the film 13.5 percent behind the $25.94 million ten-day start of 2011's The Change-Up (which fell 53 percent in its second weekend to gross $6.31 million).

Fellow Warner Bros. release Dolphin Tale 2 rounded out the weekend's top five with $4.79 million. The family film sequel was down 46 percent from last weekend, as the film appears to have taken a bit of a hit from The Boxtrolls arriving in the marketplace. Dolphin Tale 2 has grossed $33.62 million in 17 days. The film is currently running 31 percent behind the $49.04 million 17-day take of 2011's Dolphin Tale and is displaying significantly softer holding power.

No Good Deed followed in sixth with $4.51 million. Sony's low-budget thriller starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson was down 54 percent. No Good Deed continues to be very front-loaded, but has still grossed a healthy $46.53 million in 17 days.

Universal's A Walk Among the Tombstones was down five spots and a massive 67 percent from last weekend with a seventh place take of $4.19 million. Lackluster word of mouth and the new direct competition from The Equalizer both had a clear negative effect on the Liam Neeson led action thriller this weekend. A Walk Among the Tombstones is now running below expectations with a ten-day start of $20.83 million.

Guardians of the Galaxy was down just 28 percent to place in eighth with $3.77 million. In the process, the blockbuster sci-fi superhero film from Disney and Marvel surpassed the $318.41 million final unadjusted gross of 2008's Iron Man. Guardians of the Galaxy has grossed a massive $319.17 million through 59 days of release.

Daily Domestic Gross Mon, Feb. 28 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleMon, Feb. 28 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Hall Pass$1,102,332-66%2,950--$374$14,637,7061Warner Bros. / New Line
2Unknown (2011)$844,012-70%3,0430$277$43,820,4622Warner Bros.
3I Am Number Four$755,012-73%3,1562$239$38,478,9522Disney / DreamWorks
4The King's Speech$731,453-59%2,385299$307$114,962,48314Weinstein Company
5Just Go With It$670,486-72%3,544-4$189$79,457,5523Sony / Columbia
6Gnomeo and Juliet$594,701-85%3,03723$196$74,928,9373Disney
7Drive Angry$429,280-69%2,290--$187$5,616,9051Summit
8Justin Bieber: Never Say Never$336,477-87%2,810-308$120$63,300,2183Paramount
9Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son$336,105-82%2,8210$119$28,983,6242Fox
10True Grit (2010)$140,440-69%1,222-243$115$167,272,88210Paramount
11The Eagle$131,133-70%1,568-728$84$18,472,9573Focus
12No Strings Attached$120,100-62%1,366-600$88$68,880,1386Paramount
13The Roommate$110,533-72%1,726-434$64$35,928,7604Sony / Screen Gems

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleMon, Feb. 28 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Fighter$137,808-59%668-91$206$90,507,27112Paramount
2Black Swan$130,149-58%617-39$211$103,706,56713Fox Searchlight
3Cedar Rapids$51,855-60%13634$381$2,401,8513Fox Searchlight
4The Green Hornet$45,878-74%667-598$69$96,683,1997Sony / Columbia
5The Rite$38,126-70%545-503$70$32,348,6555Warner Bros. / New Line
6Biutiful$37,011-64%18124$204$3,820,8299Roadside Attractions
7The Mechanic$34,200-64%404-548$85$28,711,9195CBS Films
8Sanctum$33,320-66%392-985$85$23,103,3654Universal
9127 Hours$26,303-63%220-20$120$17,941,75117Fox Searchlight
10Blue Valentine (2010)$19,616-53%167-68$117$9,243,6279Weinstein Company
11Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1$17,931-74%303-18$59$294,343,74115Warner Bros.
12The Company Men$16,763-65%185-57$91$3,897,4026Weinstein Company
13Yogi Bear$16,313-80%366-359$45$97,873,70611Warner Bros.
14The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader$15,885-75%248-16$64$103,792,90212Fox
15Little Fockers$11,745-81%261-24$45$147,991,97510Universal
16The Social Network$11,455-49%269156$43$96,929,35222Sony / Columbia
17The Dilemma$10,935-67%243-50$45$48,441,2907Universal
18Season of the Witch$9,338-69%17139$55$24,657,4448Relativity Media
19Gulliver's Travels (2010)$7,622-83%204-31$37$42,447,26010Fox
20Winter's Bone$1,992-58%135115$15$6,504,65838Roadside Attractions

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleMon, Feb. 28 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Hubble 3D$18,437-52%500$369$22,077,41350Warner Bros. / IMAX
2Rabbit Hole$5,482-50%835$66$2,068,58911Lionsgate
3From Prada to Nada$4,690-74%81-47$58$2,910,2155Lionsgate / Pantelion
4Somewhere (2010)$3,472-25%27-2$129$1,771,88810Focus
5Unstoppable (2010)$2,251-73%66-39$34$81,530,67216Fox
67 Khoon Maaf$1,868-81%683$27$255,1422UTV Communications
7Vidal Sassoon: The Movie$1,140-19%31$380$50,4793Phase 4 Films
8I Love You Phillip Morris$862-48%156$57$1,954,02413Roadside Attractions
9Immigration Tango$219-51%2-28$110$24,0312Roadside Attractions
10Brotherhood (2010)$203-80%21$102$18,1632Phase 4 Films